September 18, 2023
Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance encourages emergency preparedness during September
Jefferson City, Mo – National Preparedness Month raises awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies each September. This year, the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) continues to focus on consumer awareness and education by partnering with the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to encourage emergency preparedness.
“The life you have built is worth protecting,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance and 2023 President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). “While it can feel uncomfortable to discuss what the impacts of an emergency or disaster could look like for you or your family, preparation can significantly reduce some of the hardships faced in recovery. Insurance coverage should be a significant aspect of that conversation.”
“Late this summer, Missouri was repeatedly struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding, reminding us of the tremendous importance of being prepared before disaster strikes,” State Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Remillard said. “This includes having a plan, building a kit, and knowing how to protect yourself and your family in the event of any emergency.”
A planned discussion during dinner or over the weekend is a great way to review your family emergency plan. Ready.gov has an emergency guide template and other resources available to help initiate the conversation. Part of this plan should include:
- Determining where you and your family will shelter based on the threat you are experiencing. During a tornado, this may be your basement or a community storm shelter. Still it may be underneath your kitchen table during an earthquake. Make sure everyone in your family knows where to go by practicing for each scenario. information can be found on Missouri's Stormaware.mo.gov website, which includes detailed videos about taking shelter in specific locations, such as in a mobile home, school, or place of worship.
- Identifying an out-of-state relative or point of contact who can help your household reconnect in case you are separated during an emergency or disaster. Share that phone number with all members of your family and memorize it.
- Creating an inventory of your belongings to account for all of your possessions properly and storing this document in a safe place such as a safe deposit box. Review this list annually to ensure all items are up-to-date. Use DCI’s checklist to get started.
Insurance is a vital part of disaster preparedness. Knowing you have the right policy to protect your investment in your home or personal property helps minimize losses in the aftermath of a disaster. Also, it is important to note a standard homeowner or renters’ policy typically does not cover flooding or earthquake damage. DCI has severe weather resources available at https://insurance.mo.gov/consumers/weather/ to help review your current policy, add coverage, or make a claim.
Anytime severe weather is forecasted, you should plan to stay informed and have multiple ways to receive weather alerts. Another way to stay prepared is by building emergency kits for your home and vehicle, stocking up on supplies annually, and replenishing as needed. Include a flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, necessary medications, radio, manual can opener, cash, pet supplies, and enough drinking water and food for at least three days.
DCI is charged with protecting Missouri consumers through oversight of the insurance industry, banks, credit unions, utilities, and various professional licensees operating in the state. For more information about the department, please visit our website at dci.mo.gov.